MCA&F Writing Awards Program

The Marine Corps Association & Foundation is the preeminent association for ALL Marines. The professional association is dedicated to supporting Marine excellence and professional development, as well as expanding awareness of the rich traditions, history, and esprit of the United States Marine Corps.

MCA&F recognizes Marine excellence in a wide range of endeavors and in particular supports the development of critical thinking in military affairs. MCA&F sponsors several types of writing awards to encourage Marines to disseminate ideas and explore issues to improve the Corps.   

MCA&F Marine Writing Awards Include:

Formal School Writing Awards:

MCA&F recognizes and supports formal school students in their pursuit of superior achievement. MCA&F writing contests supports the writing programs in multiple formal Marine Corps schools. Each unit or academic school establishes the criteria for these awards:

Expeditionary Warfare School

Marine Corps Gazette Writing Award- 1st place receives $300 cash prize and a plaque, 2nd place receives $200 cash prize and a plaque.  This essay contest invites well-argued and well-written articles that highlight an issue of significant interest to the Marine Corps.

Rapicault Memorial Award- The first place winner receives $250 and a plaque.

This award is in memory of Captain Patrick Rapicault, and is presented to the international officer who has written the best paper in EWS.  While serving with 2d Bn, 5th Marines, Capt Rapicault, a Camp Pendleton-based Marine was killed in enemy fighting in Al Anbar Province Iraq on 15 November 2004. As company commander, he led his Marines through 50 firefights and 27 improvised explosive device ambushes.

Yeosock Memorial Award-   $250 and a plaque.

This award is in memory of Lieutenant General John J. Yeosock USA and is awarded to the best paper written by another service student at EWS. He commanded the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, 194th Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and commanded the Third U.S. Army and coalition ground forces of over 330,000 soldiers.

Naval War College- MCA&F sponsors this writing Award, and the first place winner receives a $500 check.

National War College- The Colonel Rich Christie Memorial Award winner receives $500 and a plaque.

Colonel Christie was a Distinguished Graduate of Naval War College (Command and Staff), Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and The National War College.

Marine Corps War College-The Marine Corps War College selects the winners & MCA&F sponsors a $250 gift certificate to The MARINE Shop.

Marine Corps Command and Staff College Bev Cass Award- The 1st place winner receives a $600 cash prize and a plaque and the 2nd place winner receives a $400 cash prize and a plaque.  In 1972, substantial organizational changes were made to the Marine Corps Association. Colonel Bevan G. Cass, USMC (Ret) was hired as the first Executive Director of the Marine Corps Association. He served until the end of 1978.

Corps Wide Writing Awards

Chase Boldness and Daring Essay

MajGen Harold W. Chase had a distinguished career as a Marine officer, educator, author, and public official. He served in World War II and commanded a company in the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima, where he was twice wounded. As a Reserve officer, he returned to active duty during Korea and Vietnam. He was a founder of the adjunct faculty at the Command and Staff College.

Sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute-The annual Chase Prize Essay Contest invites articles that challenge conventional wisdom by proposing change to a current Marine Corps directive, policy, custom, or practice. The 1st place essay winner is awarded $3000 and a plaque, 2nd place winner is awarded $1500 and a plaque and the honorable mention awardees $500 and a plaque.

For more information on content requirements and deadlines visit

Hogaboom Leadership Essay Contest Gen Robert E. Hogaboom, USMC (Ret) served the Corps for 34 years. He served tours in Cuba, Nicaragua, and China. Following combat in a number of key Pacific battles in World War II, he served first as Assistant Division Commander, then Division Commander, 1st Marine Division in Korea 1954–1955.

Sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute-The contest honors the essay that is the most original in its approach to the various aspects of leadership. The 1st place essay winner is awarded $3000 and a plaque, 2nd place winner is awarded $1500 and a plaque and the honorable mention writers are awarded $500 and a plaque.

For more information visit 

Col Francis “Fox” Parry Memorial ArticleCol Francis Fox Parry, USMC (Ret) served in the Marine Corps from 1941 to 1967. He commanded units from platoons through regiments, and learned about initiative in combat up close and personal having serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Col Parry’s wartime experiences are chronicled in his book, Three War Marine.

The Col Parry Award was established in October 2004 to recognize the best “combat initiative” article published in the Marine Corps Gazette over a 2-year period. The award is judged by the editorial board and the recipient receives $1000 and a plaque.  

For more information on this award visit

The Schulze Memorial Essay

The MajGen Richard C. Schulze Memorial Essay honors the memory of the Marine Corps general officer for whom it is named. It is an essay written by invitation of the Marine Corps Gazette editorial board and the author receives a stipend of $2,000. This essay has been published each year since 1984, and is funded by the earnings of an endowment fund established by friends of MajGen Schulze.

MajGen Schulze was a mortar section leader with the 1st Marines in Korea and commanded 3d Battalion, 3d Marines in Vietnam. He served as director of three different divisions within the Manpower Department at Headquarters Marine Corps. He was a frequent contributor to the Gazette and wrote with philosophical insight on many of the intractable problems confronting the Armed Forces.   

Lt Col Earl “Pete” Ellis Writing Award

This writing contest is named for the amphibious visionary, LtCol Earl “Pete” Hancock Ellis, who was the brilliant planner who foretold the struggle for the Pacific 20 years before World War II. His ability to assess the uncertain security environment and its impact on U.S. economic and national security spawned the development of a series of concepts, doctrine and, eventually, a hallmark capability for Navy-Marine Corps amphibious operations.

This essay contest is established in keeping with LtCol Ellis’ visionary approach to expeditionary warfare, and is supported by the Marine Corps Association & Foundation.

The contest invites articles that focus on preparing the Marine Corps for future conflict through a wide array of perspectives ranging from doctrine, emerging threats, capabilities, technological advances, and operational concepts. The award-winning author receives $5,000. 

For more information visit

Leatherneck Magazine Lyons Writing Award

This award is named for Marine veteran and long-serving Leatherneck Editor, Ronald D. Lyons.  Active-duty sergeants or below are eligible for this writing award for the best news story or feature article published in Leatherneck. The purpose of the award is to encourage creative, well-written and accurate feature writing. The Lyons Award includes a $500 cash prize and a plaque. 

Woman Marine Association Essay Contest

This biennial WMA-initiated essay contest is supported by the MCA&F as a means of encouraging in depth research and professional, creative writing that promotes and perpetuates not only the history and traditions of women in the Marine Corps from World War I to the present, but also an understanding of the evolving potential of women in the Corps.

The essay must pertain to women in the Marine Corps and is judged by a WMA panel. Currently the 1st place winner receives a one-year membership and a $500 check from MCA&F, and the WMA provides additional recognition. The second prize winner receives a one-year membership and a $250 check from MCA&F, plus WMA recognition.

Join MCA&F today and become a member of the association for ALL Marines!

For more information on MCA&F’s Marine writing awards, please contact: 

Marine Corps Gazette Editor, Col John Keenan, USMC (Ret)
tel: 703.640.0163

Leatherneck Editor, Col Walt Ford, USMC (Ret)
tel: 703.640.0111